Dalston Matalan murderer is found guilty

Kobina Essel, convicted for Matalan murder

A teenager has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering the manager of a Matalan store in Dalston.

Kobina Essel, 19, stabbed store manager Jamie Simpson at the shop in March 2008 during a failed robbery with six other men.

Essel admitted stabbing his victim in the neck but claimed he reacted out of ‘panic’ after Mr Simpson, 33, grabbed him as he tried to prevent the crime.

Three other men were found guilty of manslaughter in connection with Mr. Simpson’s murder: Anthony Maina, 20, Randy Osei-Owusu, 17, and Simeon Jumah, 25.

Maina, who played a critical role in the robbery was on bail for murder at the time of the killing. Five months earlier he had stabbed an A-level student to death for a mobile phone.

Essel and his fellow gang members lay in wait for Mr Simpson at the end of the day with the intention of stealing the shop’s weekend takings of an estimated £20,000 to £30,000.

Last week, the other gang members, Roy Williams, 31 and Jamal Chambers, 18, were convicted of conspiracy to rob along with Duane Owusu, 20, their getaway driver.

Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command of the Metropolitan Police, said: “Today, following a long and complex investigation, seven defendants have been convicted.”

She continued: “Jamie was a good man who was simply going about his job as a store manager at Matalan, Hackney when he was fatally stabbed. He lost his life because the defendants, who each played their various parts, had devised a plan to steal the store’s takings.”

All seven men have been remanded in custody and will be sentenced next month.

Mr Simpson’s mother, Lorna Simpson, said: “For anyone who takes the life of another person, then all I can say is that they are scum.”

She added: “If you are killed on a battlefield it is a different thing, but when you are going to work and you are doing your job you don’t expect to be killed. For those who are already in the knife culture or the gang culture the justice system has to lead to a stronger deterrent.”

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